Crime & Courts
Tampa officer shoots man on probation who fled traffic stop
An officer shot a man on probation for attempted second-degree murder after the man fled a traffic stop late Sunday night, Tampa police say. According to police, an officer stopped Edward Thomas, 25, of Tampa, in his Dodge Challenger for an expired tag and seat belt violation near Hillsborough and Armenia avenues about 11:40 p.m. Police say Thomas fled the stop, and the officer called in to report the fleeing vehicle. A police helicopter then began to follow Thomas' car. Thomas crashed his car into a traffic sign at Coolidge and Hamilton avenues and fled into the woods nearby, police say.After officers set up a perimeter and a police dog was deployed into the woods, Thomas exited the woods and an officer told him to show his hands, police say. He failed to comply, and when the officer saw what he thought was a weapon, he shot Thomas, police say. Thomas was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital, and a police spokeswoman says he his expected to survive. After he was shot, Thomas told officers he didn't want to return to prison. According to state prison records, Thomas was placed on supervised release in May after his conviction for attempted second-degree murder. He is on probation until 2017. Thomas also served more than two years in 2004 for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.